Regular checks by your doctor and lifestyle changes
Visit your doctor for regular checks
Blood pressure - Your doctor will if necessary prescribe appropriate medication ? most hypertension drugs are now virtually side-effect free and very effective.
Cholesterol - can often be controlled by diet, but if necessary cholesterol-lowering medication can be prescribed.
Diabetes - iIf you have diabetes follow your doctor's instructions regarding diet and medication carefully.
Heart beat - a form of irregular heart beat called atrial fibrillation is associated with an increased risk of stroke.
A recent study recommends that GPs screen patients as young as 30 for risk factors for stroke. This recommendation follows a large audit in Australia, which found that 70% of patients had one or more risk factors for stroke and 24% had two or more. Hypertension was the most common risk factor (44%).
Be especially vigilant if you have a family history of heart disease or stroke.
Smoking doubles the risk of stroke. Get help to stop if you need it (Try http://www.quitnow.info.au/index1.html). Avoid the combination of smoking and taking the contraceptive pill.
Reduce your stress levels
Limit your alcohol intake
Studies show that more than two standard drinks a day can increase your risk of stroke.
Manage your weight
Stay within your recommended weight/height range
A brisk 30 minute walk daily or other regular exercise (cycling, tennis, swimming, aerobics) will assist weight control and improve your health in many ways.
Eat a balanced diet, avoid food high in salt and fat
A diet that includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, bread and cereals, and is low in fat and salt will help in both weight and cholesterol control.
Enjoy work and play
Balance work and leisure time
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